May 20, 2013
DAVIS, Calif. - In addition to recognizing its four graduating seniors, several members of the UC Davis softball team were honored at the program's annual awards banquet.
Earning Most Improved Player, one of five awards presented that evening, was Monica Silver.
Arriving to UC Davis after earning All-West Valley League honors three times, and winning a L.A. City Section championship in 2012 at El Camino Real Charter, the freshman catcher took full advantage of every opportunity presented in an effort to earn a spot amongst a corps of experienced catchers on the Aggies' roster.
As voted by her teammates, senior catcher JJ Wagoner was named the Most Inspirational player for the 2013 season.
Leading by example since her first game as a freshman in 2010, Wagoner switched from her preferred position in the outfield to a spot behind the plate in addition to batting as a left-hander upon request from her coaching staff.
No easy task since she arrived to campus as a three-time All-Monticello Empire League first team honoree as a right-handed batter, Wagoner's transition was a timely, and successful one, as she recorded a .300 overall batting average and led the Aggies with a .382 clip in Big West games during her sophomore season.
Last season, she led the team with a .310 mark with runners on base and .360 average with runners in scoring position; this year she hit .438 against left-handers and held the third-highest batting average on the team in league play.
Redshirt sophomore Amy Nunez received this year's Coaches Award, presented to the player whose leadership skills, character, play on the field and competitive spirit best represents the program in a positive manner.
Recording 24 hits in 50 games last season, Nunez matched that total in her 30 appearances this season in addition to posting four doubles, one triple and a team-high three home runs.
Competing on a team ranked No. 66 in the nation with its .965 fielding percentage, junior Chandler Wagner is this season's Golden Glove winner.
Recording an individual fielding percentage of .975 with 73 assists, Aggie softball fans were accustomed to watching Wagner turn hard-hit and challenging plays at second base into routine outs throughout the entire season.
In a move that comes as no surprise to numerous teams UC Davis faced this year, Christa Castello earned the Clutch Player Award in her first season as an Aggie.
A true freshman that started every game this season at shortstop, Castello recorded a team-high 82 assists to earn legitimate consideration for Big West Freshman Player of the Year.
In her first season of Division I competition, Castello led UC Davis with three game-winning RBI, scored another two game-winners and led all Aggies with her batting average, hits, runs and stolen base totals.
By winning eight games out of its last 12 played, UC Davis ended its season with a 25-27 overall record, 11-13 mark in conference play, set a new all-time stolen base record, recorded the second-lowest team ERA in the Division-I era and became the first Big West team in 13 years to defeat nationally-ranked Stanford in consecutive seasons.